Chocolate for Lent


Lent (the forty-day period of preparation for Easter Sunday) has a bad reputation in some quarters as solely negative and dour time. However, the season of Lent is not only a challenge to give up a bad habit (to loosen attachment to the aspects of our lives that unduly occupy our attention), but also an invitation to take on a spiritual practice to refocus ourselves on something positive and healthy. You might take time each day of Lent to:slowly and contemplatively read from a sacred s … [Read more...]

“Atheism for Lent”: The Spiritual Practice of Doubt


A few months ago, I wrote a post on “Poetically Dwelling on the Earth as a Mortal,” which was in honor of my favorite undergraduate philosophy professor, James Edwards. Dr. Edwards was the most well-known, articulate, and matter-of-fact of atheist at my college. And suffice it to say that in the late 1990s in South Carolina there were very few “out” atheists. I had a few good friends in high school that were self-professed agnostics, but Dr. Edwards was — if not the first atheist I knew well — th … [Read more...]

Giving Up Lent (for Lent?!)

One of the most interesting parts of my transition from being a pastor in a Progressive Christian church to being the minister of a Unitarian Universalist congregation is the shift from the Christian tradition being the central point of reference to Christianity being one among many sources of authority.Unitarian Universalism explicitly draws from Six Sources:Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit … [Read more...]

Jungian Spirituality: A Sermon Series Retrospective


For Lent, I preached a five-part series on Jungian Spirituality, based on Joyce Rockwood Hudson's book Natural Spirituality: Recovering the Wisdom Tradition in Christianity. The following is a brief description of each of the sermons in this series:Confronting the Unconscious: From Supernatural to Natural Spirituality We should be extraordinarily careful about attributing causation to God and meaning to events. And I am, by no means, promoting a variation of the harmful canard that “ … [Read more...]

Synchronicity, Coincidence, and “Jeff, Who Lives at Home”: Jungian Spirituality for Lent


Note: This post is part of our Lenten study of Joyce Rockwood Hudson's book Natural Spirituality: Recovering the Wisdom Tradition in Christianity. Links to the previous installments in this series on “Jungian Spirituality” will be included at the end of each post.  18 Moses said to God, "Show me your glory, I pray." 19 And God said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘I Am'”.... 20 But, God said, “You cannot see my face; for no one shall … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Subversive Donkey Ride (A Progressive Christian Lectionary Commentary for Palm Sunday)

In Mark’s fast-paced style, we see three different days of Holy Week in chapter 11 alone. The first eleven verses are what we celebrate as Palm Sunday. But in verse 12, we see a clue (the words, “On the following day”), which indicate that the events regarding the fig tree and the aggression against the Temple happened the next day. Monday continues through Mark 11:19, where we read that, “when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.” And in verse 20, Mark lets us know that Tu … [Read more...]